All that jazz: Best gigs to see this week
Kurt Rosenwinkel comes to the Sugar Club while Galway Jazz Festival gets under way
Kurt Rosenwinkel: The most respected jazz guitarist of his generation plays the Sugar Club on Saturday night
Friday September 29th-Thursday October 5th
Saturday September 30th
JAZZ IN RESIDENCE
Liebman & Beirach
National Concert Hall, Dublin, 8.30pm, €15, nch.ie
It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for jazzers, not least for Dún Laoghaire bassist Ronan Guilfoyle (see also Friday). Tonight, the respected composer and educator premieres Allies, a new work written for old friends – saxophonist Dave Liebman and pianist Richie Beirach – as part of a weekend of music and discussion celebrating the 70th birthdays of these two giants of the New York post-Coltrane school. Liebman in particular is no stranger to Irish audiences and, as usual, he will have plenty to say, musically and verbally, as he and his long-time collaborator are joined in the National Concert Hall’s studio space by an eclectic ensemble led by Guilfoyle, including the Chiral string quartet and UK trumpeter Nick Smart. Only trouble is, it clashes with . . .
JAZZ FOREIGN & DOMESTIC
Kurt Rosenwinkel/CEO Experiment/Michael Buckley
Sugar Club, Dublin, 8.30pm, €25, thesugarclub.com
Ah here. While the great Liebman and Beirach (see above) are preparing to take the stage in the NCH, the equally great Kurt Rosenwinkel will be tuning up around the corner in the Sugar Club. The most respected – certainly the most imitated – jazz guitarist of his generation, Rosenwinkel is one of the major figures of international jazz, a fluent improviser with his own melodic language, adored by audiences and musicians alike. The 46-year-old Philadelphia native is in town for one night only for a new collaboration with Dublin trio the CEO Experiment – featuring virtuoso Venezuelan pianist Leo Osio – and mercurial saxophonist Michael Buckley. Bi-location required.
Thursday October 5th
Tommy Halferty: Flying Hi
Arthur’s, Dublin, 9pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
With the passing earlier this year of Louis Stewart, Tommy Halferty became Ireland’s elder statesman of jazz guitar and the Derry man’s 70th year is proving to be one of his busiest. Flying Hi (a reference to the guitarist’s never-lost Derry accent) is a suite of Halferty’s own compositions, arranged by this week’s winner of the ubiquity prize, Ronan Guilfoyle, and played by a powerful septet that includes pianist Phil Ware, saxophonists Meilana Gillard and Sam Comerford, trombonist Paul Dunlea, and a very special guest from France, long-time Halferty collaborator Christophe Lavergne on drums.
Galway Jazz Festival
Various venues, continues until Sunday 8th, galwayjazz.ie
Galway city is perfectly suited to a contemporary jazz festival: not too big but not too small, with plenty of culturally curious natives and intrepid tourists, enough sympathetic small-scale venues and plenty of good eating and drinking before and after the show. Certainly, following the roaring success of last year’s event, the city has taken the revamped Galway Jazz Festival to its heart. Curated by native son, saxophonist Matthew Berrill, and held together by sheer force of will by Galway piano man Ciaran Ryan, the festival is a model of audience engagement and high artistic standards. Kicking off tonight and running until next Sunday, this year’s eclectic, creditably gender-balanced line-up includes Norwegian all-female vocal ensemble Trondheim Voices, uber-hip Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, virtuoso Russian pianist Simon Nabatov. Also performing are Arabic-infused Haz’art Trio, a new suite dedicated to Thelonious Monk from composer and bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, (see also Saturday), and many, mostly free, fringe events, including a panel discussion about jazz education moderated by flautist and Lyric FM presenter Ellen Cranitch. Where would you get it?